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Walk about feet in Cornwall, Wales and Ireland - Starting out in Chertsey, Engand

Right, I'm ready to start the walk about feet part of my adventure . . . A bit tired, kind of hungry, and maybe lacking the ability to focus. For me, nine or ten hours of flight time with no sleep is adding up to Huh? You want me to what? I never manage to sleep on a plane. Every noise, every bump makes my eyes pop open. Add to that, my mind is so full of plans, that shutting off is virtually impossible. By the time four-thirty a.m. Vancouver time (two-thirty p.m. London time) rolls around, I'm ready to roll.

Sort of.

It's breakfast and Air Canada is on it. The food trolley is rolling down the aisle. So many choices. A paper bag holding a croissant with a tiny carton of mystery flavour yogurt, or nothing. Yum. One small Vanilla yogurt coming right up. As my granddaughter says, you get what you get and you don't get upset (apparently dad quotes start young).

One instant coffee later and I'm perking up. I've got this. It's like working an evening shift with call and only getting called back to work three times. Right. That's when my travel partner, Suzanne declares she slept great. So not fair.

Landed. Time for customs. My passport won't scan and I have to speak with a customs officer. Bonus. Two seconds later, I'm through. Things are looking up. It's time to grab our rental car and find the hotel.

As far as transportation, I've hit the travel lottery. My companions are Australian, experts at driving on what for me is the wrong side of the road. Sure, Suzanne may be a wee bit rusty, but it's like riding a bike. Easy, right? Okay. Maybe not so easy, after all, she's now a Canadian, and it's been a while since she drove on the left side of the road. There's also the tiny issue that the rental car is a standard transmission with a wonky clutch. Nah, no worries. She's got this. If not, she'll fake it.

Me? I'll be supportive and encouraging, and . . . What? I'm the navigator? Right. I'm up for the challenge. Never mind everything is mirror image to my usual. I'll figure it out.

Suzanne takes a minute to adjust to the clutch, figure out directions, as in, take the round-about third, second, or first exit. Does the itty bitty laneway count as an exit? This time yes, next time no. You think that sounds confusing? Try doing it.

We're off. We flash a driver's licence at the gal in the exit booth and face our first round-about, the one leaving the parking lot of the rental car place. Wait. Turn left, not right. Oops. Back up. Damn that wonky clutch. Sorry, sorry. Wow, the English are so polite and friendly. Not a single raised middle finger or honk as drivers abort their turns into the lot, or swerve out of the way. I like it here.

Next stop, the Crown Hotel, Chertsey London. Time to meet our fellow travellers, Joan and Debbie. A little bit of real coffee and supper won't be so bad either.

So what three things did I learn my first day in London?

  • the english are polite

  • the people I am about to spend the next three weeks with, are amazing

  • salt water crocodiles are not only big, mean and aggressive, but also devious patient and wiley. Now I understand the Peter Pan song, Never Smile a Crocodile. Poor old Captain Hook never stood a chance.

The conversation is starting to get a bit muddled, so it's off to sleep now. Day one was great. Maybe I should call my blog Walk about Feet - Oi, Oi, Oi, Eh?





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